Some Black graduate students, such as Simone Wilson and Daniel Johnson, say they don't feel supported by the University.
Wilson said she felt isolated because of her race when she came to campus for her doctoral program. She said she has also experienced microaggressions and “psychological harm" from a professor.
Now the co-president of the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, Wilson said her experience has become more positive — but she had to find that support on her own.
As one of the association's leaders, Wilson has spoken with many people of color who considered leaving the University — and has felt that way herself.
“It’s been an uphill fight,” Wilson said. “It takes a lot and I feel for those that are not as self-directed as me and I see very easily why students would not stay.”
Wilson is researching the experiences of Black faculty and students at institutions such as UNC.
“I have been interviewing different students — specifically Black students — and our overwhelming sentiment is 'No, we are not supported here,'" she said.
According to data presented on the UNC Graduate School's website, Black students make up about nine percent of graduate and professional students.
UNC is ranked fifth among public universities for the most Black doctoral recipients, a survey by the National Science Foundation based on data from 2017 to 2021 shows.